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  5. "Are they dancing together?"

"Are they dancing together?"

Translation:Tanssivatko he yhdessä?

June 29, 2020



I accidentally wrote

"Tanssiiko he yhdessä"

but it corrects me and says it should be

"Tanssiiko ne yhdessä"

Why shouldnt it be "Tanssivatko he yhdessä"?


"Tanssivatko he yhdessä?" is the sole correct answer when in comes to written Finnish.

"Tanssiiko ne yhdessä?" is the spoken Finnish version of "tanssivatko he yhdessä?". I guess since "tanssiiko" was the longer word in your answer and there's only a one letter difference between "he" and "ne" that Duolingo thought you wanted to write the answer in spoken Finnish. :)

In spoken Finnish "se" is often used instead of "hän" to refer to people, and similarily "ne" often replaces "he". Verb (and other) endings are also often left out or they have entirely different endings than they'd have in written Finnish.

Written Finnish: "Puhuin äitini kanssa. Hän sanoi, että he ovat isän kanssa menossa elokuviin."

Spoken Finnish (mine): "Puhuin mun äidin kans. Se sano, et ne on isän kans menos elokuviin/leffaan."

puhuin: I spoke/talked

(minun) äitini/mun äidin: my mother

kanssa/kans: with

hän/se: she

sanoi/sano: said

että/et: that

he/ne: they

ovat/on: are

isän kanssa/kans: with dad

menossa/menos: going

elokuviin/leffaan: to the movies


Aha ok, thanks! Wow, spoken Finnish looks so much simpler than the written form :)


In certain ways it's so, but it does have it's own complexities. :) And of course there are many different variants of spoken Finnish.


Look. You idiot owl.


What is the difference between ' ovatko he tanssivat yhdessä' and ' tanssivatko he yhdessä' ?


You cannot say "ovatko he tanssivat yhdessä". It is possible to say "ovatko he tanssimassa yhdessä?" though.


How do they differ in meaning?


'Ovatko he tanssivat yhdessä?' is nonsensical. It would be like "Are they are dancing together?" or "Are they dance together?" A clause can't have two finite verbs with the -vat ending unless there's a conjunction like ja.

'Tanssivatko he yhdessä?' can be translated with the continuous aspect as "Are they dancing together?" or with the simple aspect as "Do they dance together?"

'Ovatko he tanssimassa yhdessä?' can be translated with the continuous aspect as "Are they dancing together?" but not with the simple aspect.


So in this case why does the pronoun follow the verb?


It's because of the suffix -ko on the verb. When the verb is suffixed with this, it's moved to the beginning of the sentence.

Without -ko, the pronoun would precede the verb, as in 'He tanssivat yhdessä' and 'Miksi he tanssivat yhdessä?'

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